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COLUMN

A Pro-Life Perspective

To the Editor:

I read with some interest Sandra M. Chung’s opinion piece “Sifting Through Anti-Abortion Propaganda.” As a scientist, I think that it is important to apply careful logic to any question, and logic is something I unfortunately found lacking in her defense of abortion rights, including her criticism of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban. The facts of the abortion issue are quite straightforward. We are at MIT, so let us examine the basic scientific facts, free of all propaganda. If you do not believe me, look it up.

From the moment of conception, a distinct human being is present. It may be a single cell, or a fetus, or an infant, or an octogenarian. These are all natural stages of human development, but science irrefutably establishes the beginning of human life at conception. Abortion, therefore, kills a developing human being. This is an objective fact, not a moral or religious assertion. The question under debate, then, is that of the appropriate time to begin protecting this human being.

After the birth (but not conception) of a human being, our society has laws in place to protect its life from murder. Thus, it would seem that we have chosen birth as the moment after which the laws of murder apply to a human being (there exist legal exceptions here, but they do not seem to be binding on the mother). If the process of birth is important enough to be the event that bestows on a human being its legal rights, it is entirely logical to ban a procedure that so effectively blurs the legal line between murder and abortion -- between the “born” and the “unborn.”

The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, contrary to popular charges against it, was not signed into law in order to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her own body. Rather, the law was put into place to tell her what she cannot do to the body of the human being developing inside her. Namely, she cannot procure the services of someone to deliver it partially, perform an overt act to kill it (usually involving the puncturing of its skull with a sharp instrument and the removal of its brains with a vacuum), and then complete the delivery of its dead remains.

Perhaps Ms. Chung’s most disturbing statement is that “you should still question the idea that Congress has any business legislating morals, especially when legislated morality clashes with your personal morality.” I have seen too many insane individuals for which rape and murder are perfectly acceptable “personal moralities” buy into this ideology. Like it or not, our entire legal system is based on morality, and we are the better for it.

I take no offense to those who would try to defend abortion through rational argumentation. Though I do not agree with the legality of any abortion procedure, I will respect those who do not share my views and their right to free speech. However, I do not think that illogical arguments have a place in this ongoing debate. If Ms. Chung wishes to assert that illogical propaganda that “misses the point” has no place in the abortion debate, I would agree with her on this point. Unfortunately, I think that her writing displayed a significant amount of pro-abortion propaganda and very little logical reasoning, and I would be remiss if I did not point this out.

Adam Nolte G

MIT Pro-Life